What is Shark Finning?


Finning is the process whereby the fins of the shark are cut off and the rest of the animal is discarded, most often while the animal is still alive. The shark sinks to the bottom and dies a slow and agonizing death by either bleeding out, being eaten by other fish or slowly suffocating.

Sharks cannot swim or float without fins and most species cannot breathe while stationary. Fins will not grow back.

Finning is an utterly cruel and wasteful practice, and it has been banned in most countries in recent years. But from a fisheries management point of view there are issues when prohibiting ONLY the “practice of Finning”, as that technically only stops the dumping of sharks while at sea. As long as one claims that the intention is to use the whole shark, they can be “landed whole” and then processed. Prohibition of “finning” unfortunately has proven to be ineffective in slowing the trade of fins.

The major driver of shark finning is the high demand for shark fin soup.


(Images by Pangea Seed Foundation)

Finning in Japan.jpg
Dried fins.jpg
Stefanie Brendl